Just because “X” came before “Y,” no matter how soon, does not mean that “X” caused “Y.” Proving that a nursing home’s negligence is the actual cause of a severe injury or death is often the most difficult, time consuming, and expensive part of a case. Nursing homes often defend themselves by saying the resident’s age or health are the true cause of any injury.
For example, in order to link a resident’s death to a particular infection, and that infection to a particular pressure ulcer, often requires expert medical testimony.
Linking the negligence to injury or death requires lots of legwork. We review medical records, track down ex-employees, depose nursing home administrators, subpoena documents from state agencies, and consult with medical professionals in order to prove causation.
If you are visiting our website, you probably suspect that nursing home abuse is the cause of a loved one’s injuries, or worse, is responsible for your loved one’s passing.
So, you should call because you have questions.
Is the nursing home lying to me? How will a nursing home abuse lawyer help me? Was there something that anyone could have done? How do I get a copy of my loved one’s medical records? How long will it take to resolve my case with the nursing home?
We have answers to your questions.
All you have to do is call. Our consultations are FREE and you will speak directly with a Georgia nursing home lawyer.
We hope you consider our firm for your loved one’s injury for two simple reasons:
Attorney access: From your first call to us through final verdict, your case, as well as any questions or concerns you may have, will be handled by either attorney Will
Smith or Rob Schenk. You will never be passed off to an office administrator or paralegal. You will have consistent access to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer working for you. That is the only way to build trust.
Focus: The law expands in complexity every year. As such, the days of the “General Practice” lawyer are over. Our firm focuses on nursing home abuse so
that we can stay ahead of the latest changes in the law, trial strategies, and medical standards. This approach translates to experience, results, and a respected reputation.
We focus on nursing home injuries because this is what we are most passionate about. One of our founding attorneys, Will Smith, spent ten years working as a certified nursing assistant in nursing homes across Georgia. We have seen firsthand, both inside and out, how nursing homes can cause pain and death.
Seniors are one of our most vulnerable populations. We take pride in being advocates for those who are overlooked, marginalized, and mistreated.
There are two requirements for bringing a nursing home abuse case in Georgia:
(1) Did the nursing home do something they weren’t supposed to?
This is called “negligence.”
(2) Did that action (or inaction) cause serious injury or death?
This is called “causation.”
Often, proving negligence is not the hard part. An employee dropping a resident or a resident found wandering alone outside a facility are basically negligence on its face. But establishing that the nursing home was negligent is not enough to file a lawsuit.
The nursing home’s bad act must have actually caused an injury.
For example, a resident’s call light is broken and no one responds for over an hour. If the resident is physically fine after that hour, then there is likely no case because the bad act (not responding to the call light) did not cause a severe injury. We call instances in which the nursing home did something wrong, but results in no harm, a “close call.”
So, just because a nursing home did something wrong, doesn’t mean you will be successful in a lawsuit. You still need to prove “causation.”
Once we take a case, we immediately begin investigating the claim. We order medical records, interview witnesses, and have experts review documents. We place the nursing home on notice to preserve evidence. We communicate with government regulatory agencies.
Once we establish the case, we initiate either negotiated settlement, arbitration proceedings, or a lawsuit. The objective is to force the nursing home to set right what they have done wrong.
At the end of the day, we will help you achieve a resolution for your loved one. Generally, this involves recovering monetary compensation. It sometimes also involves hearing the nursing home admit to wrongdoing and apologizing.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, the thought of that person being the victim of neglect or abuse is horrifying. Unfortunately, this kind of abuse occurs every day in Georgia.
At Schenk Smith, our Georgia nursing home abuse lawyers have years of experience litigating personal injury claims on behalf of families whose loved ones were hurt or killed in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes.
A nursing home commits ‘neglect’ when its actions fall below a reasonable standard of care. For example, failing to reposition or turn an immobile resident according to a physician’s orders. A nursing home commits ‘abuse’ when its actions are intended to cause harm to the resident, or are so egregious that wrongful intent may be inferred. Physical assault or illegal chemical restraints are examples of abuse. Both may lead to civil and criminal liabilities for the nursing home.
Abuse and neglect come in many forms, including sexual, physical, and emotional. Each have particular signs that you should watch out for. Strange bruises or scratches, bedsores (pressure ulcers), extreme behavior change, and unexplained hospital stays are just a few.
The bottom line: TRUST YOUR GUT. If you think that something is not right, then it is likely not right. It is OK to ask the nursing home questions. It is OK to call a lawyer to investigate further.